Home | Literary Movements  | Timeline  |  American Authors | American Literature Sites | Bibliographies | Site Updates

Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945)

Theodore Dreiser.

Three Perspectives on the Men in the Street: Texts of William Dean Howells's "The Midnight Platoon," Stephen Crane's "An Experiment in Misery," and Theodore Dreiser's "Curious Shifts of the Poor" from Sister Carrie.

Research Collections

The Sister Carrie Website at the University of Pennsylvania contains the text of the novel, facsimiles of the typescript, and essays on the work by distinguished Dreiser scholars. The general page for the DreiserWebSource at this site includes photographs and a short movie (in color) of Dreiser at Iroki. It also includes essays on and lists of books in Dreiser's library.
Dreiser papers at the Indiana Historical Society
A Guide to the Theodore Dreiser Collection at the University of Virginia
Dreiser Collection at Cornell
James D. Mooney papers at Georgetown
The "Three Cities" project contains multimedia essays on Chicago and New York from 1870-1930; it uses Sister Carrie in several essay segments.
The Theodore Dreiser segment of C-SPAN's American writers series aired on 20 and 24 August 2001. 
Dreiser Online contains recent bibliographies (since 1990), genealogies, a chronology of works, a brief biographical sketch, and a Dreiser chronology.

On An American Tragedy

Grace Brown's Letters (.pdf)

Note: Unfortunately, as of 2016, the State of New York has removed the trial transcripts and other materials at the links below. I'm leaving the links up in case they are reinstated in the future. In the meantime, here's a good article about the trial linking its details to Dreiser's novel: http://www.nycourts.gov/history/programs-events/images2/Judicial-Notice-11.pdf. See also Craig Brandon's Murder in the Adirondacks.

The Historical Society of the Courts of the State of New York includes information on the real-life Chester Gillette (Clyde Griffith in the book) murder case that inspired An American Tragedy, including a webcast lecture on the case and trial transcripts. The first 450 pages or so of the transcript focus on selecting jurors, etc.; the statement of the case concerning Grace "Billy" Brown (the Roberta Alden figure) begins in Vol. 1, p. 481. These can be compared with Dreiser's treatment of the case in An American Tragedy.

The site also includes page images of Dreiser's suit against Paramount concerning the 1931 film adaptation of the novel. [As of 9.6.17--this has also been removed.]

International Theodore Dreiser Society (image courtesy of this site)
Student study guide on An American Tragedy.

Works Available Online 

Link to plain text or .html versions and some page image versions of all Dreiser's works available online at the Online Books Page: http://onlinebooks.library.upenn.edu/webbin/book/lookupname?key=Dreiser%2c%20Theodore%2c%201871-1945

Sister Carrie (1900) (Online books page at U Penn)
Sister Carrie (1900) (HTML from the Crossroads site at the University of Virginia)
The Financier (1912; text from Project Gutenberg)
Jennie Gerhardt (1911; text from Project Gutenberg Australia)
The Titan (1914; Project Gutenberg)
Twelve Men (1919; biographical sketches and stories, Project Gutenberg)
"Whence the Song" from The Color of a Great City (New York: Boni & Liveright, 1923)

An American Tragedy (1925; text in Australia; NO US ACCESS)

If you've ever wondered just how bad Dora Thorne is (according to Ames in Sister Carrie), it's available at

Comments to D. Campbell. Last updated Thursday, September 7, 2017 12:18 PM